Dog Bite Claims Guide

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A Guide To Dog Bite Claims

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 23rd May 2024. If you have been hurt by a bite from a dog belonging to another party, you may be entitled to make a dog bit claim for personal injury compensation. In this guide, we are going to explain how dog bite injury claims work. We’ll also discuss the eligibility requirements to start this type of claim.

Dog on a leash barking aggressively

Dog bite compensation claims are something our personal injury solicitors have many years of experience in handling. Therefore, if you have strong grounds to make a dog attack claim, one of our solicitors may be able to help you get the compensation you’re entitled to. For more information on how to claim, please read on.

To see if you could make a dog bite compensation claim, please get in touch today for a consultation with free legal advice. You can call us on 0800 073 8804 or contact us online by filling in our form or by using our 24/7 live chat service.

Here’s our quick explainer video on what assaults are and how you can claim compensation:

Select a Section

  1. How To Begin A Dog Bite Claim
  2. What is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?
  3. Top Tips For Proving Dog Bite Claims
  4. Time Limit for Claiming Dog Bite Compensation
  5. What Can Be Claimed For After A Dog Bite/Attack?
  6. Dog Bite Claims Compensation Calculator
  7. No Win No Fee Dog Bite/Attack Claims
  8. Dog Bite Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors
  9. Useful links

How To Begin A Dog Bite Claim

As discussed in the previous section, in order to make a dog bite compensation claim, evidence is key. But what is also important is seeking the right legal advice. On some occasions claiming compensation for a dog bite injury may not always be straightforward, it may be difficult to know who to claim against and how to collect the evidence you need to prove your claim for a dog bite. 

In most cases, you will claim compensation from the owner of the dog. After all, the dog is their responsibility. However, there are some exceptions, i.e. cases whereby someone else is to blame for the incident. A good example of this is guard dog or workplace dog attack claims.

If you work in an environment and you have regular interactions with dogs, and the necessary precautions for your health and safety have not been taken, you could have grounds for a claim against your employer.

Personal injury solicitors who have dealt with dog bite compensation claims in the past will have the experience and knowledge on how to correctly file your claim. Apart from knowing who to direct the claim against, they will gather and seek the right evidence to support your claim, arrange any medical appointment that you need to attend to have your injuries assessed and also, if the case goes to court, the solicitor can represent you here.

To find out whether one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could provide you with their service inorder to claim compensation for the dog bite, please call our advisors now for free advice.

I was bitten by a banned breed of dog – Can I claim compensation?

If a banned breed of dog has bitten you, you may have strong grounds to claim compensation. Not only is the dog owner breaking the law by owning the breed in question, but also they have then been negligent by enabling the dog to cause harm to another person.

We have plenty of experience in handling such cases and we always strive to secure the maximum dog bite compensation. Get in touch today to make a claim.

I got bit by a stray dog can I claim compensation?

Claiming compensation for a stray dog attack can be more difficult. There are ways you can go about trying to find the owner. If you have been unable to do so, you may have grounds to claim against the council or anyone responsible for the area in which you were bit, be it a business park or a local housing estate.

The best thing to do is to call us. That way, we can better understand your dog bite compensation claim and advise you correctly.

What is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was introduced due to several incidents involving uncontrolled and aggressive dogs. This act involved banning certain dog breeds. It also banned the breeding, exchange, and sale of these dogs.

These dangerous breeds include:

  • Pit bull terriers.
  • Japanese Tosa.
  • Dogo Argentino, which may also be called the Argentinean mastiff.
  • Fila Brasileiro, which could also be called the Brazilian mastiff.

Aside from this, it enforced all dog owners to register, insure, neuter, tattoo, and microchip their dogs.

There are several other laws in place regarding keeping and controlling dogs. A dog owner has a legal responsibility to keep their dog under control. They must register their dog, ensure it does not create a public nuisance, and they’re responsible if their dog attacks another person.

Top Tips For Proving Dog Bite Claims

A dog bite or attack injury is any type of personal injury due to an aggressive dog. So long as the incident was not your fault, i.e. you were not provoking the dog in any manner, you may be able to claim compensation for your dog bite injuries.

Whether your dog has bitten someone, or someone else’s dog has bitten you, evidence will need to be gathered to show that the person has suffered the dog attack injury as a result of negligence.

For example, the dog owner may be responsible. If you have been injured due to a dog bite, compensation being awarded to you can depend on whether or not you can prove your injury was caused by negligence.

Some examples of useful evidence for dog bite cases could include:

  • Visual evidence – Photographs of your dog’s bite injuries could come in very useful not only in proving that your injuries were sustained but also how severe they were. CCTV footage and other video evidence may also have captured the incident.
  • Witness details – Others may have seen the incident as it occurred. They could help back up your dog bite claim if you ask for their contact details and a solicitor can collect an official statement on the subject of what they saw.
  • Medical records – Important information such as how severe your injuries were and the date they were sustained could be contained in these official documents.

Get in touch today if you have any further questions about proving a dog bite injury claim.

Time Limit for Claiming Dog Bite Compensation

In accordance with the Limitation Act 1980, there is a three-year time limit for starting a dog bite claim. This usually starts from the date the incident occurred.

Under certain circumstances, the time limit can work differently. If the injured lacks the mental capacity to start their own claim, then the time limit will be frozen indefinitely. While the time limit is frozen, a litigation friend could start a dog bite claim on behalf of the party that has been harmed. If, however, the person later regains their mental capacity and a claim has not been made, then they will have three years to start a dog bite claim from the day of recovery.

If a child has been bitten by a dog, then the time limit for starting a claim will be put on hold until their 18th birthday. A litigation friend could start a claim on the child’s behalf before they turn 18. Otherwise, the child will have three years to start their own dog bite claim from the date of their 18th birthday.

For more advice on your eligibility to start a dog bite claim or whether you could use a dog bite compensation calculator, contact our advisors for free either online or by calling us.

What Can Be Claimed For After A Dog Bite/Attack?

Dog bite compensation payouts cover the following:

  • General damages – This covers the pain from your physical injuries and any suffering caused by psychological injuries you have experienced
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Claim for loss of earnings
  • Care claim – If you have required home assistance to recover, the person that has cared for you can claim.

Dog Bite Claim Compensation Calculator

You may have questions about how much compensation you could receive for a successful personal injury claim. Some may consider consulting a dog bite compensation calculator to learn more. Compensation calculators work by asking you questions about your injury.

Your dog bite compensation settlement could include general and special damages. General damages aim to compensate you for the pain and suffering that your injuries have caused you.

Instead of using a compensation calculator, you can view the table below, which includes figures taken from the most recent edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Those who value dog bite claims may use the JCG to help guide them. This is because the document lists guideline compensation brackets for various mental and physical injuries.

Please only use this table as a guide. Personal injury claim payouts are determined on a case-by-case basis and could therefore differ from the amounts listed below. Also, note that the first entry in the table is not based on the JCG.

Multiple serious injuries and special damagesSettlements may include compensation for multiple injuries that are of a very serious nature plus any incurred costs, such as cosmetic surgery and lost wages.Up to £250,000+
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - SevereAll aspects of the person's life are negatively effected and they will suffer with permanent issues.£73,050 to £122,850
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Moderately SevereA better prognosis with room for recovery with some help from a professional. However, they are still likely to suffer with significant issues.£28,250 to £73,050
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - ModerateThe person will have made a significant recovery with any persisting effects not being grossly disabling.£9,980 to £28,250
Facial disfigurement – Very severe scarringFor such cases, the psychological reaction will be severe, and the cosmetic impact will be very disfiguring. Applicable to younger claimants in their teens to early 30s.£36,340 to £118,790
Facial disfigurement – Less severe scarring A substantial facial disfigurement with a significant psychological reaction.£21,920 to £59,090
Facial disfigurement - Less significant scarringDespite plastic surgery reducing the worst of the effects, there will still be a slight cosmetic disability.£4,820 to £16,770
Hand Injury - Loss of thumbThe thumb has been lost.£43,350 to £66,920
Hand Injury - Severe fractures to fingersThe fingers may require partial amputations and may also result in a deformity.Up to £44,840
Scarring to other parts of the bodyA number of noticeable laceration scars or a singular scar to the hands, legs, arms, back or chest.£9,560 to £27,740

Additionally, any financial losses you have suffered due to your dog attack injury could potentially be compensated under special damages. Some examples of special damages can include:

  • Certain medical expenses.
  • Travel expenses for appointments.
  • Any loss of earnings you’ve accumulated if you’ve needed to take unpaid time off work.

Providing evidence of these financial losses could help support your claim for special damages, such as bank statements or invoices.

Contact our advisors today to learn more about how much your dog bite claim could be worth.

Angry dog growling

Dog Bite Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you are eligible to make a dog bite compensation claim, then you could look at getting legal representation from a solicitor who has experience with this type of claim. If you speak to our advisors and they find that you have a valid claim, they could connect you with one of our experienced solicitors.

One of our solicitors may offer to represent your claim on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under such an agreement, you won’t need to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for your solicitor’s services. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be obligated to pay for your solicitor’s services.

If your claim is successful, a success fee will be taken from the dog attack injury compensation awarded to you. It’s a legally capped percentage of your compensation that’s taken by the solicitor that’s supporting your case.

Contact our advisors today if you still have any questions regarding dog bite claims. Our team is available 24/7 to help answer your questions and offer free advice.

You can contact our advisors by:

Useful links

Government website on controlling your dog in public

This link takes you to the UK Government’s guide on controlling your dog in public. It provides useful information on banned dogs, Public Spaces Protection Orders, dog fouling, and reporting a dog.

Government website on dangerous dog law changes

This link is useful, as it takes you to a press release that explains the changes in the law regarding dangerous dogs. In 2013, the law would change to cover dog attacks on private properties. You can find more information here.

NHS On Dog Bites

This link takes you to the human, animal, and dog bite NHS page. It explains what to do after a bite, getting medical advice/treatment, infection symptoms, common causes and avoiding bites.

Report a stray dog

If you want to report a stray dog, use this link to do so. You can use the search function to find a postcode to contact the dog’s owner. If you do not know the dog’s owner, you need to contact your local council.

Legislation Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

This link provides you with plenty of information regarding the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. This includes information on the effect of the Act, the index of exempted dogs, comparable legislation elsewhere, and much more.

Other Personal Injury Claims Guides

If you would like to speak to an advisor about dog bite claims for compensation, you are welcome to contact the Legal Expert advisors.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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